I will never forget the energy, passion, love, and pride that flooded the 26.2 mile course of the Boston Marathon when I ran it back in 2007. At the time, I was running with the Melanoma Foundation of New England on behalf of my late best friend, Glenna Kohl. I, alongside thousands of other runners, had a dream of hope, and we all carried that dream from Hopkinton, through Wesley and Brookline, up Heartbreak Hill, past Fenway, and eventually down Boylston to the finish line.
I can still remember the chills that took over my body at various moments throughout the race as I passed my fellow runners and read some of the causes printed across their shirts. Some ran for their sick mothers, some for their brothers, and some for their children. Coming down the final stretch, I felt the true energy of this city. And then I saw my source of inspiration sitting on the bleachers, leaning over with a beautiful scarf around her head. She was cheering me on so loud, and it was one of the most powerful moments of my life. I remember being so proud to live in Boston.
Yesterday’s events in Copley Square shook our city hard. As a mother now, my heart is so heavy for the other moms and dads out there who just wanted to bring their children to experience that same energy and passion that I felt six years ago.
So as mothers and as parents, how do we process everything that happened yesterday? How do we move forward?
First, we channel the energy of the people of Boston. The same energy that brings the people together in good times and bad. Then we do what we do best – we hold our children tight and nurture them with our comforting words. And if the children are old enough to grasp what’s going on, leverage the advice of experts. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has some remarkable tips that can help you talk with your children about what happened at the Marathon and support them through this hard time.
As mothers, to some extent (depending on the severity of the events unfolding around us), we have the opportunity to control how our children will move forward in the wake of horrific tragedies like this. Let’s all try to focus on the goodness of the world and the good people in it so that our children will not lose faith. After all, it’s this goodness that drove so many people to run on behalf of others and it’s the same goodness that made people run toward the danger to help their neighbors in need.
If you’re a mom with additional resources/advice to share, please send them along or share them on our Facebook page.